Best Japanese Shampoo: The Ultimate Guide
I used to live in Japan and during my extensive travels to hot springs, ryokans and hotels; was lucky to trial endless brands of shampoo. This guide to the best Japanese shampoo looks at the numerous brands that are loved throughout the country and beyond. I took all the bestsellers, award-winners and highest-rated shampoos, calculated their ratings (based on averages from multiple Japanese sites, and global ones too) and have ranked the best of the best below.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Some highlights from the list below include my own (rather expensive) holy-grail shampoo, the best organic shampoo and the the top-rated shampoo overall. There are Japanese shampoos that target specific needs such as hydration, damaged hair, itching and dandruff, hair repair, hair loss and sensitive skin. And some shampoos are based around diverse ingredients such as honey, camellia, rose, seaweed, charcoal, rice-bran, sunflower and horse oil.
Japanese Shampoo Tips
If you’ve never used Japanese shampoo before, here are a few handy things to know:
- While ethnicity can affect hair characteristics such as color, texture and structure; Japanese shampoos can be suited to a wide variety of hair types.
- Japanese shampoos tend to lean towards natural ingredients that focus on removing oil and have a lightweight feel.
- Many Japanese shampoo and conditioners are sold in combined twin packs like this.
- Japanese shampoo bottles can appear small at first, but just a little bit of shampoo goes a long way. You typically only need to use a tiny amount to create a generous lather.
- Japanese shampoo is commonly sold in soft pouches like this, which are used as refills for plastic shampoo containers. These are a great eco-friendly and economical approach.
- Many Japanese shampoos tend to have long-lasting fragrances.
Top 10 Best Japanese Shampoos
These are the best Japanese shampoos based on their average ratings across multiple stores both in and outside of Japan.
Best Japanese Shampoos
1. Top Rated Japanese Shampoo
Amino Mason Smooth Whip Cream Shampoo
This shampoo has a cult-following and is the top-rated Japanese shampoo in this list, based on an average of global product ratings. It foams up like whipped cream to gently cleanse the scalp and hair with botanical amino acids. This shampoo is from their ‘smooth’ range and contains rose honey, apricot, pomegranate, rosemary and lavender. It comes in a cute mason jar too!
2. Best Moisturizing Japanese Shampoo
&Honey Deep Moist Shampoo
This is another top-ranking Japanese shampoo, beloved for its intense hydration and incredible fragrance. The range contains three kinds of honey, along with Argan oil and hyaluronic acid. It’s an all natural blend; free of any parabens, sulfates or other harsh ingredients.
3. Best Camellia Shampoo
Oshimatsubaki Camellia Premium Shampoo
Oshima is a Japanese island renowned for its camellia oil (known in Japanese as tsubaki) and Oshimatsubaki have been making iconic products with this ingredient for over 90 years. Camellia oil has moisturizing properties that can also add luster, resulting in silky tangle-free hair with a delicate fragrance.
4. Best Luxury Japanese Shampoo
Shu Uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo
I’m not going to lie, this is not the most affordable shampoo! However, it’s also the best shampoo I’ve ever used. Shusu Sleek deeply nourishes hair with a high concentration of antioxidants and omegas 3, 6, and 9. It tames coarse and frizzy hair resulting in a lightweight, smooth texture and I absolutely love it.
5. Best Organic Japanese Shampoo
Allna Organic Shampoo
Allna Organics focus on using certified organic ingredients, natural essential oils and simple eco-friendly packaging. This shampoo contains 24 plant ingredients, provides moisture and has a scent based on tea tree, lavender and orange essential oils. Also suitable for children.
6. Best Rose Shampoo
Shiseido Rosarium Rose Shampoo
This shampoo is beloved for its fresh, rose fragrance. Though the bottle may seem rather small, just a little bit goes a long way and it lathers into a rich foam. It contains amino essence to help repair cuticles and hair damage.
7. Best Botanical Shampoo
Lux Luminique Botanical Pure Shampoo
Lux is one of the most popular shampoo brands in Japan. This shampoo is from their Luminique range and has a lavender and water lily scent. It contains 6 types of botanical ingredients (including baobab extract) and 7 types of essential oils. It gently cleanses and soothes the scalp to provide deep conditioning and leaves hair feeling lightweight. Contains no silicone, no parabens and no artificial colorants.
8. Best Japanese Shampoo for Hydration
Shiseido Aquair Shampoo
The Aquair haircare range is focused on hydration and this shampoo makes it feel as if you’ve washed your hair with soft water. It contains a unique cleansing ingredient that removes calcium ions during washing, to leave hair feeling shiny and smooth.
9. Best Japanese Shampoo For Itching and Dandruff
Lion Pro Shampoo for Itchy Scalp
This Japanese shampoo is ideal for anyone with an itchy scalp or dandruff. It is a medicated shampoo containing octopirox, an active ingredient which can help suppress itching and dandruff. It creates a rich lather and has a faint floral fragrance.
10. Best Japanese Shampoo For Smooth and Straight Hair
Diane Extra Straight Shampoo
This shampoo is specifically designed to create smooth and straight hair. It contains organic argan oil and cuticle keratin to help make hair ends shiny, smooth and straight. Also contains quinoa seed oil, prune seed extract and baobab seed oil.
11. Best Japanese Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Lebel Cosmetics Shampoo with Seaweed
This range focuses on natural ingredients that are gentle on hair and environmentally-friendly. This shampoo contains seaweed that helps to replenish moisture in damaged hair. Results in a shiny and glossy finish.
12. Best Japanese Shampoo for Hair Repair
Mixim Potion Repair Shampoo
This shampoo has a cult-following and has been awarded first place on Cosme before (the largest beauty site in Japan). The shampoo consists of organic botanical oils (including jojoba and geranium), raw keratin, hyaluronic acid and collagen to repair hair. It has a scent of rose geranium and is free from sulfate, paraben, petroleum based surfactants and dyes.
13. Best Boutique Japanese Shampoo
Tamanohada Gardenia Natural Hair Shampoo
Tamanohada have been making soap in Tokyo for over a century, making them the oldest soap company in Japan. They have a range of organic shampoos made of plant-based ingredients focused on moisturizing, smoothing hair and reducing dandruff. This shampoo has the fragrance of gardenia, blended with lemon and ylang-ylang oil. Other shampoos in the range include lavender, orange, musk, rose and fig.
14. Japanese Shampoo for Smooth Hair
Ichikami Smooth and Sleek Shampoo
This Japanese shampoo by Ichikami is one of the highest-rated and most-purchased online. These products are sulfate free and leave hair moisturized, soft, shiny and smooth. They have a gentle floral fragrance and work well with a wide range of hair types.
15. Best Japanese Charcoal Shampoo
Pelican Clay and Charcoal Shampoo
Pelican have been producing soap and hair products for over half a decade. This clay and charcoal shampoo is a non-silicone formula that works to remove sebum and repair damaged hair. It has a mild hinoki (Japanese cypress) fragrance and is ideal for a sensitive scalp.
16. Best Shampoo for Colored Hair
Clear Color and Heat Conqueror Shampoo
Clear is a French company with a global following. Their range is incredibly popular in Japan (often topping lists) and this product is an American equivalent. It is designed to combat the drying effects of coloring, blow-drying and heat tools. It contains nutrium 10 to nourish the scalp and antioxidant berry extracts to leave hair vibrant and shiny.
17. Japanese Shampoo for Softness
Ichikami Soft Moisture Shampoo
This ultra moisturizing shampoo from Kracie is incredibly popular. Made from natural oils, it is designed to prevent itchiness, dandruff and hair breakage. It contains rice extracts and japonica seed oil, works great on thick hair and has some great reviews. Has a sweet apricot and cherry blossom fragrance.
18. Botanical Japanese Shampoo
Botanist Botanical Shampoo
Botanist also have a cult-following and focus on plant-derived ingredients that are gentle on hair (and environment too). This shampoo contains sugar-cane, licorice and soybean extracts to focus on hair repair and moisturizing. It has an apricot and jasmine fragrance.
19. Best Japanese Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
Moist Diane Botanical Refresh and Moist Shampoo
Diane is a premium haircare brand and most of their products are bestsellers in Japan! This shampoo is from their botanical range and is targeted towards sensitive skin. It contains 10 organic botanical extracts, including rosemary, althea, chamomile, sage, lavender, thyme, calendula, damask rose, wormwood and thistle.
20. Best Japanese Shampoo for Unwanted Wavy Textures
Moist Diane Bonheur Grasse Rose Shampoo
This might look like perfume, but it’s definitely shampoo! Contains over 98% organic ingredients and a rose fragrance that is extracted from roses in Grasse, France. Designed to revitalize coarse hair due to lack of moisture, damage from perming and coloring and unwanted wavy textures.
21. Best Japanese Rice Bran Shampoo
Komenuka Bijin Moisturizing Shampoo
The parent company of Komenuka Bijin originally manufactured sake, before discovering the numerous benefits of rice water on hair and skin. Their shampoo contains natural antioxidants found in rice bran, seaweed and ginseng to help reduce hair loss and improve texture, shine and strength. Designed to nourish the hair and scalp and maximize thickness and volume.
22. Best Japanese Shampoo for Frizzy Hair
Dear Beaut’e Himawari Shampoo
This shampoo often tops bestseller lists and contains sunflower extracts (organic sunflower oil, sunflower sprout extract, sunflower seed extract, sunflower flower extract) to help contain moisture and repair hair damage. Suitable for kinky, unruly and frizzy hair.
23. Best Rinse-Free Japanese Shampoo
Kao Merit Shampoo
This is a popular drugstore shampoo that is suitable for all hair types, making it great for the whole family. It is also a ‘time saving’ product as it can be used rinse-free (though I’ve seen conflicting labels). It contains eucalyptus and chamomile extracts (so has a gentle floral scent) and helps to prevent dandruff and itching.
24. Best Japanese Shampoo with Horse Oil
Kunomo Horse Oil Shampoo
If you’ve never heard of it before, horse oil is incredibly popular in beauty products in Japan, Taiwan and China – thanks to its moisturizing properties. This shampoo made by Kumano Yushi is commonly found at hot springs around the country and is praised for resulting in smooth and shiny hair. Suitable for itchy or sensitive skin and dry or damaged hair.
25. Best Japanese Shampoo for Volume
Shiseido Tsubaki Volume Touch Shampoo
This product is one of those ones that just stands out on shelves in Japan. It is incredibly common (and popular too) and is part of the Shiseido Tsubaki range. It is designed to prevent hair from flattening by giving hair volume and keeping it fluffy and shiny.
26. Best Japanese Shampoo with Vitamin E
Shiseido Super Mild Shampoo
Another shampoo by Shiseido, this one is from their Super Mild range. It is designed for the whole family to use and many people remember it from their childhood. The shampoo creates a creamy lather and is centred around Vitamin E to help protect hair from drying out. Contains chamomile and rosemary; and has a mild refreshing scent.
27. Best Japanese Shampoo for Fine Hair
Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Shampoo for Fine Hair
Another shampoo from my absolute favourite, luxury brand Shu Uemura! This product is rather expensive, but it is also totally worth it. It is formulated for those with fine hair and designed to promote long-lasting hair volume. It contains deep sea water that is drawn from two-hundred meters beneath the seas of Japan.
28. Best Japanese Shampoo for Hair Loss
Kaminomoto Medicated Shampoo
Many people swear by Kaminomoto! The company hails from Kobe and their medicated shampoo is focused on scalp and hair root care, for healthy hair growth. It also works against dandruff and itchiness. It is recommended for those suffering from hair loss.
29. Best Japanese Shampoo for Limp Hair
NatureLab Tokyo Shampoo
The Nature Lab Tokyo range was developed by Rosa Takagi with a focus on natural beauty products. This shampoo focuses on botanical ingredients such as apple stem cells and sakura extract. Rice protein builds volume and adds weightless moisture while soy protein promotes hair thickness by preventing breakage. Has a soft sakura fragrance.
30. Japanese Shampoo Inspired by Maiko
Chidoriya Maiko Rose Shampoo
Chidoriya was founded in Kyoto and develops products using traditional ingredients, inspired by geisha and maiko’s skin care rituals. This shampoo cleanses gently, promotes shine and is formulated with organic jojoba and pure wild camellia oil. Has a gentle geranium and rosewood fragrance and is mild enough for the most sensitive scalp.